Skip to main content
Hamburger Menu Close



Those viral images of Pope Francis looking stylish in a white puffer jacket are fake

The images of the Pope were created using image generating app Midjourney and first appeared on r/midjourney subreddit. 

Those viral images of Pope Francis looking stylish in a white puffer jacket are fake

These images of Pope Francis in a puffer jacket are fake and created by artificial intelligence. (Photo: r/midjourney subreddit)

You may have come across several images of Pope Francis online recently looking fashionably on point in a white puffer coat and a large cross on a chain hanging over his chest.

Before you start wondering if the Pope is experimenting with a new look, be warned that those images are fake – created via artificial intelligence, or AI.

A total of four images of the Pope were first posted on the r/midjourney subreddit on Saturday (Mar 25). Midjourney is an app that generates images using language prompts in which you describe the image you want to see using text – and the subreddit is where people go to share their creations.

Other AI image generators that use this technology include OpenAI’s DALL-E and Stable Diffusion.

The realistic-looking images had numerous people fooled.

Celebrity Chrissy Teigen tweeted: “I thought the Pope’s puffer jacket was real and didn’t give it a second thought. No way am I surviving the future of technology.”

Several people responding to her tweet agreed that they were left similarly confused by the images. One person wrote in response: “Not only did I not realize it was fake, I also saw a tweet from someone else saying it was AI and thought HE was joking.”

Some people have been sharing advice on how to spot if a photo is fake, including checking the hands and fingers in a photo as these image generating apps haven’t quite perfected these yet.

Source: CNA/sr